The Death of Business Intelligence

SMEs enjoy business intelligence advantage

Posted in Business, Business Intelligence, IT, SAP by neilwilson1984 on November 28, 2013

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may be better able to harness the power of business intelligence (BI). That’s according to a new report showing smaller companies are more agile and closer to their customers than larger organizations.

The study from Dresner Advisory Services showed SME BI initiatives are more likely to be driven by executive management and the sales function, reported Enterprise Apps Today.

“SMEs have the advantage of agility and the ability to use BI as a competitive differentiator,” explained Howard Dresner, chief research officer at the firm behind the report.

“Because of the closeness of executives to the technology, business and customers, they have an edge against larger competitors.”

However, he points out that larger organizations have a lot more resources in terms of people and money, enabling them to invest in more long-term projects.

But while they may have an advantage when it comes to business intelligence resources, SMEs tend to face fewer operational challenges.

Larger organizations, says Dresner, can get “bloated with bureaucracy and process, forcing them to focus BI upon efficiency”. By contrast, smaller enterprises are more efficient and can focus externally.

This seems to go against a recent report from BI software vendor SAP, which warned this summer that SMEs struggle with data analysis.

In a blog, SAP noted how for really precise decisions, companies need lots of data, but speed and efficiency is a real issue: management simply doesn’t have time to wade through mountains of raw data when there are loads of other tasks to perform.

“Another aggravating factor is that the management depends on the cooperation of the IT department to deal with the issue. Many midsize companies tie up unnecessary resources with gathering data, and these resources then don’t get to do their core tasks,” said SAP.

This results in one major problem facing SMEs – lots of raw data that is merely presented and not analyzed or synthesized to be of any real value. Agile they may be, but SMEs need to find ways of maximizing their resources of they risk missing out on making sense of the data they are harvesting.

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